Mawlid is also called Milad An-Nabi and Maoloud Nabbiy in West African countries. It is an Arabic word that denotes the birthday of the last and final prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Although the exact date of the prophet’s birth wasn’t known, it was proposed by Islamic scholars to be on the 12th of the third month in the Muslim Calendar; Rabi’ al-awwal and Mawlid is celebrated every year on this date.
In most Islamic societies, Mawlid is a national holiday commemorating the Prophet (S.A.W)’s birthday. It began in the early Islamic age after the death of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). The Abbasids of Baghdad (the capital state of present Iraq) innovated it to uphold the Muslim community.
Sessions which consist of the holy Qur’an recitation, poetry and song composition, sermons, and charity, are done in an open place to mark the celebration.
However, there has been a continuous debate concerning the legitimacy of Mawlid among Muslim scholars. Some Muslim scholars believe that Mawlid is out of the religion of Islam because it wasn’t done during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), and it is considered as Bid’ah (Innovation). Although Mawlid is Bid’ah, most Muslim scholars strongly legalized it for the five reasons below.
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1. To Give Honor To The Prophet
Prophet Muhammad (S.W.A), may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him; the day he was born and breathed his last breath is the best of the creatures, a man of great honor, and honor should be given to who is due.
Mawlid is significantly set aside on the 12th of the third month of the Islamic calendar, Rabi’ al-awwal. To honor and salute the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) for his tremendous impact and personality. It also serves as a way of renewing commitment to the teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
2. For His Remembrance
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) is a hero whose whole world can never forget his name, and his impacts will live till eternity.
Although the remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad ( S.A.W) ought to lie in the Muslims’ mind at regular intervals, Muslims say his remembrance’s Du’a at every five daily salat ( prayers). Mawlid is set aside significantly to reinforce his yearly memory.
3. To Spread His Best Practices
In most Muslim settings, Mawlid is celebrated in a large or small gathering of people, and one of its agendas is sermons that center on the teaching of the best practices and sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
Mawlid in a gathering of people serves as a medium to facilitate the remainder of the best practices and sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) as well as encouraging the Muslims to exhibit his best practices like compassion, sincerity, love, and kindness to others, reasonable manner, and many others.
4. It Is Considered Bid’ah Hasanah
Although Mawlid wasn’t celebrated during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), anything that wasn’t done during his lifetime but introduced to the religion of Islam after his death is considered Bid’ah (Innovation). However, there are good Bid’ah tagged as Bid’ah Hasanah; it is not punishable for its doings.
Mawlid is an example of Bid’ah Hasanah since none of its activities contradict the practices of the Islamic religion and instead strengthen the religion of Islam.
5. It Promotes Unity
Mawlid also serves as one of the Islamic occasions that enhance the coming together of Muslims of different tribes, cultures, and personalities in unity and love. It also encourages the exchange of gifts and charity to those in need, including donations of food and other materials.
However, whether Mawlid ( celebration of the prophet’s birthday) is legally accepted by all sets of Muslims or not, commemorating Prophet Muhammad(S.A.W) is essential.
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